Vikings spoil Gryphons home opener 34-13
For the first three quarters, the Thomas Jefferson and Avery game lived up to its defensive billing, but the Vikings slowly pulled away for a 34-13 win Friday in the Gryphons home opener.
Quarterback Tre Jackson was the star of the night with three scores, two passing and one rushing, but his leg may have been the most valuable weapon.
As a punter and placekicker, Jackson kept the ball out off the hands of Efrim Borders with three touchbacks and a punt downed inside the 1 yard line.
Both defenses were as good as advertized to start the game. The Gryphons were forced to punt on their first drive. Not to be outdone, Jeremy Partlowe jumped on a fumbled option pitch at the Viking 37. A screen pass to Efrim Borders put the ball on the 18 and three plays later, Mason Fenner booted a 33-yard field goal and TJCA took a 3-0 lead.
Borders forced another fumble on the next possession at the end of the quarter, but Avery embarked on a long dive. Jackson was the catalyst as the shifty junior ran for a pair of first downs then hit Austin Phillips on a 14-yard pass over the middle for a touchdown. Jackson hit the extra point to put Avery up 7-3.
Much of the rest of the half was a field position battle with Jackson booming a punt to TJCA’s 1 yard line. Mason Martin hit Borders on a deep pass out across midfield, but was intercepted by Trevor Pickens and returned to the 12 yard line.
Two plays later, Phillips ran another crossing pattern and ran untouched in the end zone for an 11-yard score. Jackson missed the extra point to leave the score 13-3 at the half.
The Gryphon defense forced a three and out to start the third but Avery returned the favor.
After another defensive stop, the home team finally started to move the ball. Martian broke a 20-yard run and Trey McGhee did the same while Borders took a swing pass into the red zone. The Avery defense stiffened and TJCA settled for a 20 yard field goal by Fenner.
Avery marched right down the field on a long drive to answer with a 24 score by Daniel Childress. The extra point made the tally 21-6.
TJCA refused to go quietly as they moved the ball through the air on their next drive. Bradley Freels and Borders reeled in big catches, and Borders made a diving reception on fourth down to keep the offense on the field.
Coty Flynn covered the final seven yards on the next play and Fenner split the uprights to make the tally 21-13 with 9:45 left.
Avery scored 14 unanswered points to pull away for the 34-13 win.
Thomas Jefferson head coach Jerry Cash was unavailable for comment after the game.
TJCA will have a bye next week before hosting the Ashville School Sept. 20.
Avery HS Vikings 0 13 7 14 — 34
TJCA Gryphons 3 0 3 7 — 13
Qtr Time Scoring play
07:55 TJCA - Mason Fenner 33 yd field goal, 6-17 1:24
06:29 ACHS - Austin Phillips 14 yd pass from Tre Jackson (Tre Jackson kick), 8-41 3:56
00:57 ACHS - Austin Phillips 11 yd pass from Tre Jackson (Tre Jackson kick failed), 4-49 0:55
05:11 TJCA - Mason Fenner 22 yd field goal, 8-69 2:28
00:45 ACHS - Daniel Childres 27 yd run (Tre Jackson kick), 10-68 4:18
09:49 TJCA - Coty Flynn 9 yd run (Mason Fenner kick), 7-46 2:48
08:37 ACHS - Shayne Carpente 1 yd run (Tre Jackson kick), 4-66 1:05
05:46 ACHS - Tre Jackson 24 yd run (Tre Jackson kick), 4-31 1:37